It was a frustrating Boxing Day evening for us as we were held to a 1-1 draw by Brighton in a game of few chances.
Here are the three main talking points from the match:
It looked all set up for an enjoyable Boxing Day evening when we took the lead within the first seven minutes. We were sharp and focused, but having gone ahead through Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's cool finish, we were soon made to pay for missing some presentable chances. The best of these fell to Auba, who was played through by Lucas Torreira on the half-hour mark but saw his shot saved by Mat Ryan. Within five minutes, Brighton had equalised and the momentum we had built up was gone.
A SHOTSHY SECOND HALF
The stats sometimes don't tell the full story of a game, but there are a few from this match that certainly are telling. The first being that, after conceding in the 35th minute, we only had one shot on goal for the remainder of the match. In fact, despite having 68 per cent of possession, we only mustered seven shots over the course of the 90 minutes: we've not had a game with less attempts on goal since Unai Emery took over.
Coming into this game on four bookings, Emery must have contemplated taking Lucas Torreira out of the line of fire in case he picked up the caution that would rule him out of Saturday's trip to Liverpool. But in the end, the Uruguayan lined up in the centre of midfield and delivered a disciplined display. But in the 81st minute, Torreira went down under a challenge on the edge of the Brighton box and referee Anthony Taylor waved play on. After the ball went dead, the official went to his pocket to brandish a yellow card, with some reporting that it went to Torreira, while others felt it went Sead Kolasinac's way for dissent at the decision. After the match, we finally had some clarity: it went to the Bosnian, meaning Torreira will be available for the game at Anfield.
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